During the first period of research work at the Academy, five sub-projects are doing research into specific aspects of the general topic from different disciplinary perspectives. These sub-projects will run for the duration of the entire first project period; their research builds on existing cooperations with African partners and focuses on different parts of Africa and the African Diasporas. Although different in main focus point, geographical location and research angle, all five sub-projects share their look at concepts of future.

Five ways of focusing on Visions in Time

  • A historiographical sub-project studies the transformation of narratives of ‘Future’ in the 19th and 20th centuries (Beyond Europe).
  • Models of time and future in nature are examined as informing conservation strategies or coping with climate change (Visions of Nature).
  • Ethnological and sociological approaches are used to address visions of the future among middle classes as a manifestation of their social rise (Middle Classes on the Rise).
  • Another Sub-Project looks at fictional representations of “Future” that are generated in African Diasporas and communicated by artistic movements such as Afrofuturism or in new media such as the internet (Concepts of Future in Mediaspaces of Africa and its Diasporas).
  • Finally, iconographies of African revolutions are discussed and anthologized from the perspectives of cultural and art studies (Revolution 3.0).

Descriptions of Sub-Projects

The five different sub-projects that were looking at specific aspects of the general topic “Future Africa – Visions in Time” from a variety of fields during their first funding period will be slightly modified during the extension period. Their respective research work will, however, still be connected to cooperations with African partners and will focus on different parts of Africa and – more emphasized – on the African Diasporas.